Maxine and her divine 2019 joey’s first outing.
Here is the transcript in the video if you need to translate online.
At first I wasn't sure who this was as her stomach seemed so flat ... little did I know the treat I was about to discover!
I moved to the other side and found joey sitting up high on her back while she was eating her dinner. This is a tiny joey, around 7 months old. This is probably his first time this far away from the pouch.
Notice that already he is seeing the world through his nose - he is learning a lot about what mum and this tree smell like! Just look at that scrawny little butt - it is rare to see this much detail of a joey this young.
You can see his movements are a little jerky - just like any youngster, he has many muscles and neural pathways that need to mature as they build up through being used.
When he has this slip, Maxine actually vocalises at him. It seemed like she was giving warning sounds - maybe warning him to be more careful. She gives him a few warning sounds, maybe she feels he is not in such a stable position. Koalas often nose touch, but mothers do not regurgitate food for joey the way some wild animals do.
Notice how Maxine how positions her arm to give him assistance to get back to a more stable place on her shoulder.
She also decides to reposition herself in the tree a little now that he is in the correct place on the back of her shoulder.
She seems much happier with this position and settles to let joey explore a bit.
Joey decides maybe it's time to get back in the pouch ... I think he is a little confused though?
You can see it is like there is a line drawn through his fur halfway down his back. This is actually his new 'outdoors' coat that is growing in and it is literally only halfway down his body. Over the next week or so, he will fluff up all the way down to that scrawny little butt and toes.
He is really having a hard time figuring out why he isn't finding the pouch opening! Meanwhile Maxine is content to let him learn by trial and lots of error.
After a while Maxine changes into what I call the 'cradle' position - kind of half laying back so that her stomach forms a cradle. This gives joey a directional clue and he heads towards the true pouch and find his way back into warmth, safety and a good drink of milk.